Classical 91.5

JoAnn Falletta, American conductor and advocate for women composers

Feb 16, 2018

Conductor JoAnn Falletta
Credit AllMusic

When JoAnn Falletta matriculated at Mannes College of Music as a guitar major, she had already set her sights on the conductor’s podium. Despite the administration’s doubts that a woman could be a Music Director, they changed her major, and Falletta never looked back. Now in her 18th year as the Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic, Falletta never lost her love of guitar, establishing an international competition in 2004.

Falletta accepted her first individual GRAMMY Award on Feb 10, 2019 for Best Classical Compendium for the recording of Fuchs: Piano Concerto 'Spiritualist'; Poems Of Life; Glacier; Rush with the London Symphony Orchestra. The album (Naxos: 8.558924) which was released in August 2018 features music of Falletta's long-time friend and composer Kenneth Fuchs.

Learn more about her career, her biography and her discography.

Hear JoAnn talk to kids about what it's like to be a conductor.

This post is part WXXI Classical 91.5’s celebration of Women’s History Month. For more of these stories and other resources, check out Celebrating the Contributions of Women to Classical Music.